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No one injured as mail truck goes up in flames in Londonderry

Union Leader Correspondent

July 10. 2017 4:01PM
The fire was out in about 10 minutes. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

LONDONDERRY -- A mail truck fire was quickly stamped out Monday afternoon.

A mailman was doing her route when she smelled something burning near 62 Forest St, according to Londonderry Fire Battalion Chief Mike McQuillen.

“As soon as it stopped, the cab filled with smoke,” he said.

The driver pulled the emergency brake and was able to safely get out of the vehicle, McQuillen said. Shortly after that, the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames, destroying everything inside.

“You can see it was through the roof,” McQuillen said.

The brake system failed at some point during the blaze and the vehicle rolled back at least 50 feet before hitting a mailbox and a trash can.

“That’s what broke it’s fall,” McQuillen said.

Local police and fire personnel responded just after 2 p.m. and the fire was contained quickly and completely extinguished within about 10 minutes.

The driver was brought to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but was not injured.

The fire is believed to have been started by some sort of mechanical failure in the engine or transmission, McQuillen said.

The fire department responds to many car fires, but McQuillen said this may be the first mail truck fire, at least in recent years.

“As far as I can remember,” he said.

Trevor Smart, who lived down the hill from where the fire started, said he had been working at his house when he heard a popping noise, kind of what sounded like a car backfiring. He didn’t really think twice about it at first, he said, as similar sounds are common in the neighborhood.

Smart was about to leave for Home Depot when he came outside and saw that the mail truck was engulfed.

“It wasn’t massive by any means, but it was going,” he said.

The vehicle was towed from the scene less than an hour after it caught fire and is considered a total loss.

“I think it’s pretty much going to be scrap metal,” McQuillen said.

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